Many organisations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic had to shift their workforce to remote work. With employees gaining a taste for more flexible working arrangements, it’s likely that a hybrid work model (incorporating some form of remote work) will become the norm.
A hybrid work model is still quite new for a lot of organisations and as a result, there may be a number of implications that are yet to be realised.
I’ve already penned my thoughts on what remote work will mean for organisations, so keeping this in mind, how can organisations foster a happy and healthy remote and hybrid workforce?
Supporting social connection and mental health
Employees that are working mostly remotely may be feeling socially isolated from their colleagues and missing the energy they get when working in the office.
So where can you start when it comes to building social connection? Here are 8 Cringe-Free Remote Team Building Activities that are guaranteed to leave employees feeling more connected. Whether it’s clay making or setting off an amazing race, there’s an activity that will suit the needs of any team.
To monitor and ensure that staff are feeling happy and secure, use your intranet to regularly run employee pulse checks (short surveys). Using our Injio SharePoint Intranet, these can be automatically scheduled with results being fed back to the relevant department. This way, if you notice a dip in employee wellbeing, you can roll out strategies to address this. Nice one!
Growing professional networks
More than ever, organisations need to combat information silos. With the mix of remote and on site work, employees are even less likely to connect and gain exposure with colleagues outside their own team. Your organisation needs a plan that networks employees from all areas of the organisation. It will also need a plan to connect new starters with others in the business, especially those o may be in the early stages of their career and spend a limited time in the office.
Set up a mentorship program where junior employees can be paired with a senior member from another department or make members of the executive team available for one-on-one catch ups with different employees. Use your intranet to set up a monthly catch up for employees from different departments to meet and chat virtually or on site. Remember, employees that are spending most of their time outside the office are unlikely to have the same opportunities to form spontaneous connections as they might while working in the office. There’s no bumping into someone while making coffee in the kitchen, no chatting while waiting for the lift. These interactions can make a real difference.
An employee recognition tool such as the one we have in Injio, where employees can be virtually called out and acknowledged for their work is a great way to give visibility to employees and to create intra-organisational connection.
Research indicates that as we lose connections, we stop innovating. It’s likely you’ve had your own experience of sitting around with a group and brainstorming ideas or generating a great idea from a random interaction. How can we combat waning innovation in the age of remote work?
Start by setting up a system to track innovation output. With an Injio intranet, you can create an interface for employees to submit new ideas. This will help clarify how many new ideas are being generated each month and to action and push new ideas along.
Think about regularly scheduling virtual brainstorms (and face to face brainstorms, if feasible) to keep creative juices flowing.
There’s no doubt that hybrid work has added an extra layer of pressure for managers, at least as they work through guiding staff through this new working model. Not only must they ensure that their direct reports are meeting performance expectations but that staff are feeling happy and secure.
That’s where your intranet can share the load. Covering everything from onboarding to performance appraisals, Injio can help automate many of these tedious tasks that can sometimes get missed in the busyness of day-to-day work.
Your intranet should also be an important source of truth for staff and can be used to share top-down communication that informs and empowers staff.
Where to next for hybrid work?
Who knows what further challenges lay ahead for organisations in response to the shift towards hybrid work. Ultimately, organisations that are proactive and have the right tools and technology in place are the are ones that are going to rise to the top.
Got some more ideas on how to support a hybrid workforce? Comment below or get in touch.